Mar 16, 2019

Sun-Dried and Salt-Aged Radish Soup 陳年蘿蔔干燉雞湯

Dark is good. Dark means delicious, and so is this Chinese soup made with Silkie chicken and black colored aged radish.

Sun-dried and salt-aged radish soup - 




Ingredients?


  • 1/2 cup loosely packed sun-dried salt-aged radish
  • 1/2 medium sized Silkie chicken
  • 5 to 6 dried big shiitake or similar type of mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • Some salt (if needed)


How?

Sun-dried and salt-aged radish can be kept for years, and the ones I used here probably were stored for at least 3 years.




Rinse these radishes gently then pat dry. Cut away the very bottom of dried mushroom stems if desired, rinse then soak in cold water till the mushrooms turned soft. Keep that water, need to add in to the soup later on.




Cut the chicken into big pieces. Quickly blanch the chicken and set aside for later use.


Peel the garlic cloves. Thickly slice the ginger, keep the skin on.


Prepare a clay pot and drizzle some sesame oil. Turn to medium high heat and add in garlic cloves and ginger slices. Wait till the oil gets hard and starts searing these aromatic ingredients. Sear till colored but not burnt.




Add in chicken and sear for about 30 seconds.




Pour in the water used to soak the mushrooms, extra 5 1/2 cups of water, and radishes. Bring to a boil and scoop out any brownish foam floating on the surface.


Lower the heat a little to keep it at a simmer. Cook for another 10 minutes or so then transfer the mushrooms over. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.




Taste and see if more salt is needed. However, the dried radishes were salt-aged, so for myself, no additional salt were needed. Add in goji berries and cook for another 5 minutes.




Goji berries are crucial, since this soup can be on the salty side, adding something sweet to the mixture can balance off the flavors. A few more dried jujubes can also be added if preferred.


Dark is great. 


Mar 12, 2019

It's the Thought that Counts - Unsuccessful Red Bean Buns あんパン

My first time making bread from scratch, not so successful but it's the thought that counts right? Said so myself.


I followed exactly all the steps from a recipe website Just One Cookbook. Well, nearly all the steps. This leads to the answer of why my red bean buns were unsuccessful? 


After a little investigation, it's the filling. Well, more so my slight laziness in the end. Instead of making the red bean paste from scratch, I used store-bought Japanese canned red beans. It was too watery, so the filling couldn't hold up the shape and caused serious spilling while I was trying to seal the dough.


Lessons learned.


So the recipe supposed to yield eight little buns, ended up less than half of the batch were presentable, if not judging that teeny weeny filling sadly sat in the center. If anyone gets a taste of it, consider it a lucky (or unlucky) thing?


A little side effect, I didn't expect that my right forearm can get this sore after kneading the dough, and it lasted for days. But the process was fun, and hopefully one day I'll make it again, so I can restore my reputation back (if it ever existed).


Oh, and that aroma after taking the buns out from the oven, even though the taste might be mediocre, but that sweet scent in the kitchen, very comforting. 


May all your kitchens smell like such happiness every day.